Let’s examine some common prize scams.
You have won a huge amount of money, a diamond ring or a luxury vacation. More than likely, it’s a prize scam and you’ll find the prize isn’t worth much — if you get a prize at all. If you have to pay, it’s not a prize, pure and simple. It is illegal to ask you to pay or buy something to enter or increase your odds of winning.
When you sign up for a contest or drawing, you probably will get more promotional mail, telemarketing calls, or spam email instead of a prize. Telemarketers are legally required to tell you the odds of winning, the nature or value of the prizes, that entering is free, and the terms and conditions to redeem a prize. Mailings also must tell you that you don’t have to pay to participate.
They also can’t claim that you’re a winner unless you have actually won a prize. And they’re not legally permitted to include fake checks that don’t clearly state they’re nonnegotiable and have no cash value.
Scammers don’t obey the law and they lie. To avoid a scam, you have to do some research. If you’re not sure about a contest or promoter, try typing the company or product name into your favorite search engine with terms like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” You also might check it out with your state attorney general or local consumer protection office.
Keep in mind that many questionable prize promotion companies don’t stay in one place long enough to establish a track record, so if no complaints come up, it’s no guarantee that the offer is real. Local Police Departments can not help with these.
Nov. 14. Accident: An unattended vehicle crashed into a hedge, sparing nearby property, at 10:28 a.m. in the 800 block of Avenue B.
Trespass: The resident reports a relative is outside banging on the door and demanding money at 7:10 p.m. in the 100 block of Walker Way.
Thought for the day: It’s just one more example of how substance abuse effects the whole family.
Nov. 15. Vandalism: The owner walks out to find their silver pickup isn’t silver this morning at 11:16 a.m. in the area of Wyoming Street and Avenue H.
Trespass: The business wants a customer trespassed after inappropriate behavior toward a beverage display at 6:52 a.m. in the 1600 block of Boulder City Parkway.
Thought for the day: Thankfully the vehicle detailer is able to remove the sprayed-on paint.
Nov. 16. Vandalism: The car has been damaged and a bike is also missing at 7:53 a.m. in the 500 block of Fir Street.
Domestic: One party has been punched in the face and the other party has left the scene at 6:14 p.m. in the 800 block of Avenue A.
Thought for the day: The second subject is located nearby and gets to spend a few days with the fine folks at the Henderson Detention Center.
Nov. 17. Family disturbance: The elderly resident doesn’t care for product expiration dates, or family that does either, at 1:28 p.m. in the 1200 block of Ironwood Street.
Hit and run: Two vehicles appear to have been hit by the same vehicle at 3:52 p.m. in the 500 block of Sixth Street.
Thought for the day: The vehicle and driver are later located and cited for the incident.
Nov. 18. Auto theft: The resident finds something missing when trying to leave for work at 6:52 a.m. in the 500 block of Birch Street.
Domestic: One party comes to the lobby with injuries caused by flying projectiles and the other party appears to be feeling no pain at 7:13 p.m. in the 1000 block of Nevada Way.
Thought for the day: We hope the working man gets his vehicle back soon and in decent condition.
Nov. 19. See person: The subject in the lobby wants to speak to an officer about mind control by the media at 1:20 a.m. in the 1000 block of Arizona Street.
Assist: The owner of the aircraft from North Las Vegas says the people who took the vessel told those on the ground they were headed to Boulder City at 2:23 p.m. in the area of the Boulder City Airport.
Thought for the day: It appears that whomever took the aircraft were thieves and liars.
Nov. 20. Found property: A good Samaritan turns in the wallet along with the cash intact at 9:40 a.m. in the 1000 block of Arizona Street.
Assist: The officer is flagged down when the owners retrieve their vehicle from the tow yard and the sunroof is missing at 5:36 p.m. in the area of Industrial Road and Yucca Street.
Thought for the day: There are still good and honest people out there folks.
Call of the week: The caller reports a nude man has broken into an unoccupied residence and appears to be planning to stay. While waiting for officers to arrive, the subject has donned some duds and is walking away wearing (someone’s) house slippers at 3:28 p.m. Nov. 14 in the 800 block of Temple Rock Court.
Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.